Kremlin does not confirm reports that US invited to Astana talks on Syria

 

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm the reports that the United States had been invited to Astana talks on Syria.

When asked whether Kremlin confirms the invitation submitted to the administration of President-elect Donald Trump to participate in the talks on the Syrian settlement in Astana, he said: “No”.

According to Peskov, he “would not say anything particular about the proposal.”

“Astana is getting ready, the meeting is being prepared, which is a rather challenging process. It does not substitute for other formats, including the Geneva process, it looks more like supplementary parts,” he said.

Talks on the Syrian settlement are to be held in Astana on January 23.

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that he had agreed the issue of inviting the US to the Syrian talks in Astana with the Russian side, but Dmitry Peskov refused to give comments regarding the issue.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed hope the administration of President-elect Donald Trump who will assume office on January 20, will agree to participate in the Syrian talks in Astana. He stressed that he welcomes the idea to hold talks involving Russia, Turkey and Iran in Astana. Kerry said he wished the meeting had certain progress and resulted in resumption of Geneva talks on the issue of transition government formation and elections in Syria. He added that the meeting in Kazakhstan should not become a substitution for Geneva talks.

The cessation of hostilities has been in effect in Syria since December 29. However, both the government and opposition have repeatedly accused each other of violating it.

 

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